Most of us would agree that scientific and scholarly research is a noble undertaking. The relentless pursuit of reproducible results allows us to make what we hope will be accurate predictions about our areas of study.
Such scholarly activity does have its down side, however, in that once we are committed to a certain idea or paradigm, we will tend to stick with it—even if subsequent research tends to cast doubt on it. This is the bind that many researchers find themselves caught in today when it comes to climate change. As more research is done, it becomes more and more difficult to sustain previous pronouncements about the future of our planet’s climate. Yet scientists who have, in a sense, staked their reputations on such forecasts are loath to change them. As a result, those to whom such projections could be vital—such as carriers who offer weather damage-related coverages—may be confused over which way to turn.
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